By MYRNA M. VELASCO
Project developer San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is anticipating a three-month delay on the opening of Skyway Stage-3 following last weekend’s fire incident that triggered the collapse of a portion of the infrastructure facility.
The elevated road was originally targeted to open by April this year, but due to the needed restoration of the damaged section of the structure, this will be moved to July 3.
SMC nevertheless advanced word that it will “work double time to make sure that Skyway Stage-3 opens by July this year,” with it noting that the estimate of its contractor was actually eight months just “to rebuild the portion of the road project that collapsed from a fire at a nearby warehouse in Pandacan.”
SMC President Ramon S. Ang asserted that the company was “saddened by (the) unfortunate incident mainly because it will delay a vital infrastructure project that would have alleviated traffic woes of our motorists sooner than expected.”
Given such unwarranted drawback, he indicated that San Miguel will work round-the-clock, “to complete the entire project in five months,” with Ang stressing that “this is just a 3-month delay from the original opening target.”
Filipino motorists are already getting extremely exasperated by the worsening traffic situation in Metro Manila, and the completion of the Skyway-3 project is among the solutions the government has been banking on to ease such problem.
As designed, the project is targeted to “eliminate choke points and provide motorists seamless connection between north and south.” The stretch is from Gil Puyat Avenue in Makati and will make its way through San Juan, Manila then Quezon City all the way to the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).
“Upon completion, traveling to and from Buendia to Balintawak could only take 15 minutes,” San Miguel has emphasized.
Relating to the cataclysmic fire that ravaged the road project as well as its warehouse facility, SMC noted that based on initial investigation, “the fire was a freak accident that could have likely emanated from the DMCI construction yard that eventually spread to its nearby plastics warehouse.” At the time of the incident, it was noted that the plastics facility was already preparing for its relocation out of Pandacan.
SMC said the relocation is part of the company’s efforts “to clear its properties in Pandacan,” keeping into consideration the Skyway project as well as other future ventures. This is a subsequent step after Petron, which is another SMC subsidiary, had taken away its oil depots from that area.